The cold season has just begun; it is the best time to remember how to deal with the most common problems that your car may have in winter. We know there are a number of fancy products available to help you but we have prepared this quick guide to help you survive the winter without purchasing them!
Every driver hates winter. The whole car covered with snow, windows frozen on the inside, wipers stuck to the wind shield, problems with leaving the parking spot, frozen locks you cannot push the key into… These are common for all drivers whose cars are left in the cold for the night. Supermarkets are full of products that will make it easier for you and your car to survive winter; the problem is, they cost a lot and are never there when you need them most anyway. Have you ever found out that the locks are frozen and the spray is left inside the car you cannot open specifically because the locks are frozen? Then you will know what we mean. Our solution is as follows: before you spend money on all those products, take a moment to learn the household ways to help your car survive winter. They may help you save some money and turn out much more practical than a pack of products, each designed to only help with one problem.
Driving in winter means you need to start your day from removing the snow from the windows. As we all know, this always takes more time than you thought it would so your start your day in rush and more stressed than you should be. How to prevent the windows from freezing, then? You can simply buy window mats and remember to put them on the windows to prevent them from freezing overnight.
What we would like to suggest is, your old bedsheets will do the same job at no cost at all (So long as they’re not torn, of course!) Remember to always put them on a dry windshield only. You also need to remember that they have their limits; they will not protect your windows from freezing sleet. Still, there is a way to help your car survive such weather anyway. If you’re expecting that the night might be freezing cold, spray the windows with the mix of water and vinegar (1:3).
What if you forgot to do so and you’re standing in front of the car whose windows are frozen? First of all, never use hot water! The windows may break if you do. Secondly, never remove the ice with any glass or metal equipment; you may scratch the glass. How to remove ice from your windshield if you have no scraper at hand? A credit card might be your first idea and in a way, it is a good one, though you will certainly feel safer if you use any of your discount shopping cards instead. Remember that you can also use the mix of water and vinegar; spray the windows with it and the frost will be much easier to remove.
As we all know, the biggest drawback of lock defrosters is that they tend to magically disappear when you need them most. How can you prepare a similar product in the comfort of your own home? You can de-freeze a lock using the regular drinking straw. Direct it towards the lock and use it to heat the lock up with the warmth of your breath. If you’re crazy about hygiene, or you smoke, you will have a few more options. You will be able yo use the anti-bacterial hand gel to defrost the lock, or heat the lock up with your cigarette lighter.
Windows frozen on the inside
Windows that freeze on the inside are one of the most irritating problems you can encounter in winter. Spending a quarter scraping the ice off your windows only to get in and find out there is another layer waiting for you inside can seriously demotivate you in the morning. And the day has only just begun! Having all your clothes covered with ice that you’ve just removed from the windows will not help you have a better morning, either.
Before you begin the fight with frost appearing inside your car, you need to know that a wet car is bound to freeze when the temperature drops. You can start with not leaving any uncovered bottles or other containers inside the car if there is any liquid left in them. Secondly, replace regular car carpets with rubber ones and remember to remove water from them. Last but not least, if you have a cat, steal some clean cat litter from it, put it in a dry old sock and leave it inside the car for the winter. When it comes to absorbing excess humidity, cat litter is a miraculous invention.
Condensation is one more problem you will hate as a driver. We’ve heard that you can prevent water from condensating on the inside of your windows by… washing them with shaving foam.
There are a number of ways in which snow can stop you from starting your day on time. Removing snow from your car takes time. If you live in a place where you can expect plenty of snow, you may consider purchasing a car cover that will reduce this time to zero; remove the cover and the snow with it and you are ready to go!
Snow can also make it difficult for you to leave the spot where you have parked the car. In order to help the wheels regain traction, you can put a piece of cardboard under them; in the case of an emergency, you can also use the carpets but you need to remember that they will most likely be damaged so this would really be your last resort. If nothing helps, you will simply need to push the car. This is one more solution that will help you reuse your old socks, except this time you will need to put them ON your shoes to give them better traction.
Snowy roads also make it more difficult to steer your car. There is a simple solution to this problem: put something heavy in the trunk. It would be best to have 20 kg of cat litter in the trunk; not only will it give the back of the car the proper weight but it will also be your supply of cat litter that you won’t have to go home for.
Other problems your car may have in winter
There are two more problems that you are bound to experience in winter: freezing mirrors and wipers stuck to the windshield. When it comes to the wipers, you could pull them away from the windshield for the winter but if wind is strong, they will be pushed at the windshield anyway. Instead of pulling them away, you can secure them with… old socks. Not only will they not freeze to the glass but they will also be protected from mechanical damage. How do you deal with frozen mirrors, though? This is actually very simple. Cover them with plastic bags for the night and secure them with a piece of elastic.
There are two more tips we have that will help you survive winter without too much stress; all you will need is an oil-free frying spray and… toothpaste. The spray will help you protect rubber elements of your car from freezing. You can also spray it on the snow shovel so ice doesn’t build up on it.
As for the toothpaste, use it to polish the reflectors; the results are fantastic!
As you can see, your car can be protected from harsh winter conditions without the use of expensive products; you can easily replace them with what you have at home and a bit of imagination. Whether you decide to follow our guidelines or purchase the professional products, remember that if there is anything that is more important than all of them, it is your foresight; remember to protect your car for the freezing winter night and you will have a much better morning.